making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
In Louisiana, local government officials cannot do any sort of business with anyone who does business with their local government. This position is supported by a settlement reached with an Alexandria council member, according to an article at The charges are...
Robert Wechsler
Last month, I wrote about problems involving municipal bond sales and advice in Tennessee. Yesterday, the state comptroller wrote a guest column explaining what went wrong with municipal bonds and suggesting some of what he will propose today to prevent such problems in the future.

Robert Wechsler
Two days ago, I wrote about a Chicago Heights (IL) situation where two council members who work under a third council member were in a position to vote for their boss to be the city's mayor. A suit brought by a group of local ministers to prevent this from happening was dismissed, according to an article in...
Robert Wechsler
Electing local government employees to local government office can cause problems. There are constitutional protections against forbidding it, but there are conflict of interest arguments against doing it.

According to an article in today's Southtown Star, in Chicago Heights (IL)...
Robert Wechsler
Massachusetts has an interesting, but I think limited ethics provision that applies to local government board members and jobs under their board's supervision:

Section 21A. Except as hereinafter provided, no member of a municipal commission or board shall be eligible for appointment or election by the members of such commission or board to any office or position under the supervision of such commission or...

Robert Wechsler
When I saw the lead headline in Wednesday's New York Times, "In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry into Past Use," I thought of local government ethics, even though the article was about torture. Okay, I suppose I spend too much time thinking about local government ethics, but bear with me for a minute.

The C.I.A. used, and the Justice Department approved, interrogation methods that were used in American military training. If the methods are there, in print, in a...